Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Here Comes The Rain

It was another gray and gloomy morning, but I knew that it would last all day. There was rain in the forecast so I was grateful for every dry moment that I had. I did my morning drive, unlocked the gate and headed toward the flag poles. A giant orange caterpillar was clinging to the center line of the entrance road. As soon as I got out my camera though, it started inching along as fast as it could. I struggled to get a photo of it, in focus.
I finally decided that I would try making a video of it because it was so fast. I apologize for the shakiness of the video, I am admittedly better with still photography.

The caterpillar made it pretty close to the grass and I knew it was well on its way to safety so I turned my attention to the flags. I opened the flag box slowly and checked to see if any of the patriotic frogs remained. I didn't see any, but I handled the flags cautiously in case they were hiding. Once I had the US flag and the POW MIA flag clipped on to the rope, I noticed that there was a frog on the flagpole. I don't know if it climbed out of a flag just then or if it was on the pole all along.
Once I made it to the park and unlocked the office, I took my morning walk, unlocked the cabin, and headed to the office to get the paperwork out of the way. I wrapped it up pretty quickly and moved on to some other office work. My original plan was to head to Adams Tract in the morning and Lake City to pick up some supplies in the afternoon. I decided to skip Lake City though and just pick up what I need when I am in a city on my day off. I had too much that I wanted to do today. I headed to Adams Tract around 9:30 and checked in with the volunteers. We discussed some maintenance issues and I picked up some garbage and time sheets and attendance information. The river camp looked great! I headed back towards Troy, but I had to stop to take a photo on the way out. The gray sky was so impressive over the soft, green, farmer's field.
Back at Troy, I was ready to settle in and get some projects out of the way or at least started. I saw a vehicle in the parking lot so I walked to the cabin porch to see where the people were. I saw that there were divers in the water. I headed to the parking lot to check if their diver certification cards were out and to see if they had a pass. On the way to the parking lot, I snapped a quick photo of a squirrel who was perched in a funny way, feasting on an acorn. I was surprised that it let me get so close. I took one more step to get a better angle and it scurried off.
The divers didn't have a pass displayed, so I checked the honor box... nothing. I went back to my office to eat lunch and to wait for them to come out of the water. I was sure that they were trying to avoid payment. I have found though, that its good to always approach people in a friendly way because you just never know what the whole story will turn out to be. When they surfaced and returned to their vehicle, they gave me their payment envelope. They had been nervous to just drop their money in the slot. I assured them that it was secure, but I did accept their payment. I asked them if they had a good dive, they didn't, they lost a newer camera underwater. I helped them look around the edge of the spring, hoping that it had gotten caught in a rocky area near shore. It didn't turn up, so I took their name and contact information and I will ask other divers this week to watch for the camera. Hopefully it is stuck under a rocky ledge somewhere underwater where another diver can retrieve it, or maybe a turtle downriver is taking some family photos.
When I finally got back to the office, I was frustrated because so much of the day was gone but I hadn't gotten very far with my To-Do list. I sat down and got going, so did the rain outside. I called to activate the new park cell phone that had arrived while I was out. That took a few phone calls. I sent and responded to some e-mails. I called a mower service place to make sure that I have been searching for the appropriate oil to add to the hydraulic system, I am, the search continues. I added up volunteer hours from Adams Tract and prepared ID cards for them as they have met the required hour mark. I entered the attendance from Adams Tract into the computer, and talked to my evening relief about improving the form that we use. I compiled all of our new paperwork for our new fuel card and vehicle tracking system. I also pulled all of the old forms out of the file cabinet so that the other worker could start cutting it up and making some note paper for us. With all of the small stuff out of the way, and someone to help visitors as they came through, I was finally able to start on a project that I was working on before I broke my arm. I began arranging the photos that I had taken of the sides of the spring. I am making a guide so that we can continue to take the same photos from the same places over time to have a better record of erosion and other changes. I got a good start on it before it was time to go home. I still need to take two more photos and fill in the GPS coordinates and notes for each spot.


Lorena said...

Ooo, that makes me think of a question for you. I know people probably lose stuff there all the time... what's the weirdest thing you or one of the divers have found? And do you have any happy stories of returning lost objects?

We need to come out and see you soon... I never even got to see you in your big green cast!

Ranger Amy said...

Thanks for the question, I answered it here http://rangervision.blogspot.com/2009/10/ticked-off.html

We do need to get together again soon. You didn't miss much aside from a funny smell with the cast.

Understanding Alice said...

wow what an swesome catterpillar! My husband liked it too :)